“You’re so lucky!”
Three words that seem so harmless. They’re often said with heartfelt goodwill, but those three words make my blood boil!
Truth be told, I am lucky. Very lucky. This post shares the secret of my lucky, lucky life as a freelance copywriter.
The idea for Copywrite Matters came while I was working as a marketing coordinator for a software company. I went to a sales day presentation to hear a copywriter, Bernadette Schwerdt, talk about writing headlines. At the end of the presentation, Bernadette promoted her copywriting course, which also covered how to set up your own copywriting business.
That concept hit me like a bolt of lightning. You might say I was lucky to hear that presentation right at the time I was considering my future.
What I did next, though, was all me… I took action. I signed up for that course and did it in my spare time while I worked full time. I improved the copywriting I did as part of my day job and started marketing Copywrite Matters in my lunch hours, evenings and on the weekend.
So you can switch “was lucky to hear” for “took action on”.
I was lucky to get my first few breaks
Many copywriters approach me asking how to start getting clients. This is a challenge every business owner faces. Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come.
My first few copywriting jobs were thanks to some referrals. Just lucky, you say? Well, no.
While I worked my day job, I was invited to join the Australian School of Copywriting’s Dream Team of copywriters and got some copywriting leads through the school. I also approached printers, graphic designers and website developers and introduced myself. I didn’t do a hard sell. I got to know them and some of them they sent me some work.
Eventually, I decided I needed to commit more if I was going to make my business happen. So I wrote my resignation letter and pitched an idea to my CEO. I could continue writing their marketing as a freelancer copywriter saving them a tonne of money over a year, and they wouldn’t have to bother finding a replacement. And now I had my first regular client!
The theme to my ‘lucky breaks’ is putting myself out there. I got involved. I applied myself. I networked. I asked. I accepted the fact that people might say no and did it anyway.
So you can switch “lucky” for “was prepared to get rejected”.
I am lucky to get a consistent stream of copywriting clients
If you’re just starting out as a copywriter – or any freelancer for that matter – you might hear talk of being booked out for months with feelings of envy.
The consistency of your pipeline of work is directly related to the consistency of your marketing. From the day I registered Copywrite Matters, I have made time for marketing. I have shared information and advice on copywriting and taken part in conversations on topics I wanted to be associated with. I have made time to blog regularly, on my blog and as a guest, and never missed a blogging deadline.
I make the effort to participate in webinars, tweet chats, forums and discussion groups. I meet people. I answer questions. I share what advice I can. I try and be helpful.
So you can switch “lucky” for “consistently marketing my services”.
I have an admission to share. I don’t really like networking events. They are usually a bit awkward. I’m usually very awkward. Walking into a room of strangers makes me want to throw up.
But face-to-face networking is the unsung hero of marketing. Online networking is good – I’m not knocking it – but getting in front of people is so much more powerful than only ever chatting online.
My approach to meeting influential people is to start the process on social media. I follow what they publish and look for opportunities to become part of conversations in their space.
I attend live events to meet those people. I take a few deep breaths and I introduce myself. The conversations I’ve had with them online, even if it’s just a brief exchange of tweets about an article they posted makes that first meeting a little more familiar and makes subsequent conversations much easier.
The ‘trick’ to it all? Having the courage to get involved and to keep the conversation going.
So you can switch “lucky” for “brave enough”.
I feel blessed to work with awesome clients, but it’s not all down to luck.
My marketing appeals to a certain kind of business owner. One who likes my style and how I roll and wants a piece of that mojo in their copywriting. There is also a screening process, so when I get an enquiry for a copywriting project I don’t really specialise in I refer them on to a copywriter who does.
It’s all about picking the right people to work with. People you can channel all your awesome skill into and who are good for your business.
The luck? Well, sometimes it’s luck that someone happens to see my social media post with a testimonial that happens to strikes a chord, just at a time when they happen to be thinking about copywriting. But mostly it’s just consistent effort.
So you can switch “lucky” for “organised”.
So what’s the secret to all my luck?
Being open to ideas and taking action. Action is everything.
Putting myself out there. Being prepared to be rejected and doing it anyway.
Consistently marketing my services. No excuses.
Having the courage to get in front of people, online and offline.
Being organised and having a process to make stuff happen.
Oh yeah. And bloody hard work!
I am, actually, pretty insulted by the idea of luck. When people say, ‘you’re so lucky’, they are dismissing my success as some kind of whim of the universe.
You’ve heard the saying, ‘you make your own luck’, right? Well, it’s absolutely true. Being lucky means keeping your eyes and ears open to opportunities, taking action and putting in the hard yards to turn them into something wonderful.
So this is what I’d love to know. Are other people lucky? Or are you lucky, like I am?
The Copy Detective